With a focus on China, the United States, and India, this book examines the economic ambitions of the second space race. The authors argue that space ambitions are informed by a combination of factors, including available resources, capability, elite preferences, and talent pool. The authors demonstrate how these influences affect the development of national space programs as well as policy and law.
Namrata Goswami is an independent scholar.
Peter Garretson is senior fellow in defense studies with the American Foreign Policy Council.
Chapter 1: Introducing the Concept of Great Power Competition for Space Resources
Chapter 2: The Role of Myths, History, and Strategic Culture on Space Based Resources
Chapter 3 (Part I): The Epistemic Community and the Foundations of Discourse in the United States
Chapter 4 (Part II): The United States Strategy and Space Resource Ambitions
Chapter 5: China’s Strategy and Space Resource Ambitions
Chapter 6: India’s Strategy and Space Resource Ambitions
Chapter 7: Middle Power Strategy and Ambitions for Space Resources: Luxembourg and the UAE
Chapter 8: Are We Observing the Beginning of a Race or Scramble for Space Resources?
Scenarios and Concluding Thoughts
Afterword: Theorizing Space Resources within International Relations Concepts and Positioning of the Authors
Goswami and Garretson are directly involved in space policy research, and it shows. Addressing a perceived emerging great-power competition in outer space, they target the policymaker audience. Exploring five cases—the US, China, India, Luxembourg, and the UAE—they trace the roles of myth, history, and strategic culture in shaping epistemic communities, space resource ambitions, and policies pursued within each state. Working from textual sources and interviews, they propose multiple scenarios for the emerging struggle, and spell out the ideological and strategic approach expected from each state. Hypotheticals run from the China-dominant to the India-dominant ("Space Raj") and include the US-dominant ("Protector of the Realm") scenario, as well as a number of bipolar and balancing options. The authors' expected configuration of world powers in 2060 is China (number one), US (two), and India (three), with a likely crisis before 2028 and a critical "fork in the road" circa 2047. The appendixes outline the authors' assumptions and theory for academic readers, discussing why they adopted their approach and how their work fits into a larger research project. The "scramble" for resources and key locations in space, they argue, will shape human politics for centuries. Required reading for students, faculty, and practitioners, this book may also attract a general readership. Highly recommended.
[T]he text is massively footnoted and there’s a huge bibliography that more casual readers will find a gold mine for further reading. And all but the most knowledgeable readers will find their own command of the subject matter increased, if they’re willing to put in the time this book requires.
Scramble for the Skies is the first great book of the Space Force Age and destined to become a watershed event in space strategy. Never again will pundits be able to dismiss the future Goswami and Garretson expertly present. Even better, it arms readers with the insight necessary to win that future.
A North Star vision for the Nation! Garretson and Goswami have given us a peek of the future in Scramble for the Skies. Furthermore, they have armed us with a solid roadmap for how to get there. Space will never be the same again!
This is an important book about an important topic. Scramble for the Skies is by far the most thorough and politically insightful work on space resources and interstate competition. It is historically informed and theoretically sophisticated -- and extremely timely. The time when space resources could be largely ignored by governments, space policy makers and international theorists is drawing to a close. Scramble for the Skies is an important contribution to the emerging -- and vitally needed -- policy conversation on the governance of celestial resources. Everyone interested in space and international politics must read this book.
Scramble for the Skies explains the highest stake race of all time, where the winners will own the next thousand years. Yet unlike the first space race, this time the world's most powerful nations have been joined by corporations, billionaires and a rising group of savvy entrepreneurs. As one of those who kicked off the 'scramble' for space resources, I can say this book provides a fact-based overview of how it began, what is happening now, and where it might lead if the right choices are made -- by people who "get it".
Scramble for the Skies is an excellent new work that looks at the emerging space race, paying particular attention to two new space powers, China and India, as well as the established dominant space power, the U.S. Peter Garretson and Namrata Goswami combine their own specialisations – Garretson bringing knowledge of space policy issues from his time in the US Air Force, while Goswami is a well-known scholar working on Asian security issues – to understand the space race in the context of today’s competitive geopolitics. The new space race has not gained the attention it deserves, which makes this book a must read for strategists, practitioners and the policy community.
Scramble for the Skies is rich beyond belief in information. And it gives a sweeping geopolitical view of the importance of humankind's future in space.
I’ve spent two decades researching Space commercialization and China’s rise and this is the book that finally identifies the nexus of those two most critical issues of the 21st century. Scramble for the Skies is must-read for every aerospace executive, policymakers on the National Space Council and NASA and US Space Force leadership. This extremely timely and well documented book lays out the contours of the cislunar economy and is imperatives. For those used to thinking of space in the old paradigm, this book will shock you.
Hands down, the most comprehensive and compelling argument for the implications of immense untapped space resources on the likelihood of war in space. The authors constructed a valuable framework for thinking about the future of space warfare beyond a supporting function for terrestrial combat. Must read for all space policymakers, intelligence analysts, future military concept developers, and futurists. Be forewarned, cislunar operations and interplanetary colonization are the next frontiers, and the nation that gets there first could dominate for centuries.
10/28/21, Choice: This book was included in a roundup of "Top 75 Community College Titles."
5/28/21, Forbes: Scramble for the Skies is on this Forbes recommended reads list for strategic space policy.